social media

How to Craft a Winning Social Media Strategy on a Startup Budget

Latest posts by Emma Knightly (see all)

With 2.8 billion collective social media users today, integrating social media into an overall digital marketing strategy is not just smart, it can be a cost-effective way to optimize your brand’s online presence.

So how do you get started? Keep it simple and follow these six steps.

Use Facebook ads to accomplish these goals

There are four major goals that any startup brand should aim to fulfill. The good news is, startups and lean businesses can harness the power of Facebook Ads to accomplish the following:

  • Brand awareness: This constitutes not only recognition of a brand’s design collateral, but its broader values, as well. Eventually, a combination of content, engagement and promotion leads to brand recognition.
  • Content creation and distribution: Creating high-quality content is not only for SEO purposes, but it also accomplishes more qualitative brand goals, such as building authority and providing audiences with value up front.
  • Lead generation: Using Facebook Ads, startups can set up a sales funnel that links a landing page to an opt-in in exchange for an email or link to a blog post with the same. Users who click over can then be retargeted using Facebook Pixels and “lookalike audiences.”
  • Customer acquisition: The combination of all three of the above goals, consistently and over time, allows for a seamless process of customer acquisition where your chosen platforms allow you to acquire, engage with, and offer products or services to your audience.

The most powerful aspect of Facebook Ads is its audience targeting and retargeting tools. In this case, it might be useful for businesses to take a social media course from a Facebook Ads expert, such as Claire Pelletreau’s “Bullseye: Reach Your Best Target Audience with Facebook Ads” course.



Create easily translatable brand collateral

Since you’re focusing on one or two platforms to begin with, you don’t want to waste too much time creating and re-creating the same brand collateral over and over again.

For example, if you’ve created a branded header image for a high-quality blog post and you’ve decided to focus on Twitter and Pinterest, you’ll want to include that same branded image within a tweet and then resize the dimensions for a Pinterest “pin” or post.

Use design tools like Canva that will allow you to create custom images according to the size and dimension requirements for each platform. Also, create a brand format guide that states the elements of your brand design that must be included consistently across your social platform.

Outsource using freelance platforms to create high-quality social content

The best strategy is to focus on creating high quality content on your website and then create multiple posts that link to this content on your social media channels.

High-quality content — consisting of interviews, quotes, statistics, well-produced, well-designed and well-researched information — is content that converts (eventually). As a startup, no matter what industry or business you’re in, you can grow more sustainably and strategically if you treat this as a marathon and not a sprint.

One of the most cost-effective ways to ensure high-quality content for social media is to build a small but reliable team of freelancers (in writing, design and video, for example) that can be called on to take care of production while the business focuses on distribution and strategy.

Use a social scheduler for distribution and editorial calendars

Many startups have an editorial calendar to keep track of when new content will be published. However, once that content goes live, many businesses also fret about the “next big thing.” It turns into a constant sense of apprehension: How can we consistently keep generating new content?

The answer, of course, is that you don’t. You simply repurpose old content.

This means you’ll need to have two calendars running simultaneously: one intended for the creation and publishing of new content and a second meant for periodically shuffling and bringing to light evergreen content that is ready to be seen once again.

You’ll want to find a tool like Meet Edgar or Social Oomph that auto-schedules and repurposes evergreen content, shuffling posts from the back of the queue without requiring your input.


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Use custom tracking scripts through Google Tag Manager

Finally, you’ll want to collect data on which posts get the most clicks and what parts of your website generate the most traffic and engagement.

Those who want to stay away from heat maps, for the time being, can use Google Tag Manager and goals in Google Analytics to hook up a system that allows you to track what actions people are taking on your site and where they came from.

For example, if you’re using Instagram, primarily, as a way to re-direct traffic to your blog post, you can use a tracking script to figure out how many users were indeed redirected from this social platform.

This is a good way to get an idea of ROI and determine whether or not your strategy is effective.

If users are not clicking over from Instagram, how else can you adjust your social media efforts?

Clearly, there are several main components of a successful social media strategy, regardless of how much money you spend.

Above all, remember to avoid the faux pas that most companies make: social media platforms are not just channels of mere distribution. You can’t only visit, post, broadcast and leave.

These are channels of engagement, and to form a connection with your audience, businesses must actively engage with their users.

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